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Apple is reportedly set to begin production of its next-generation iPad Air this month with display components going into mass production in the middle of this month and components such as the processor and camera sensors going into production next month. The design of the sixth-generation full sized iPad will mimic that of the current model and the display resolution will stay at 2048 x 1536, according to ETNews.

The new iPad Air will sport a more advanced A8 processor, which sources previously noted focuses on efficiency and battery performance for the iPhone (likely for the iPad too):

Sources also say that Apple has developed a new A8 system-on-a-chip for the next iPhone that focuses on marginal speed improvements rather than core architectural changes, but adds significant performance and efficiency enhancements in order to improve the iPhone’s battery life. With a larger, higher-resolution display combined with the next iPhone’s far thinner body, the A8 chip will be essential to maintaining the seamless, fluid iPhone experience that Apple prides itself on.

The new rear-camera is expected to move from a 5 megapixel sensor to an 8 megapixel sensor (which would bring the tablet in line with the latest iPhones), and the front camera could make the jump from 1.2 megapixels to 1.5 megapixels. That’s a small jump on paper, but will likely make significant improvements in the quality of FaceTime calls and Photo Booth selfies. The iPhone still beats the iPad in the camera department with its True Tone dual-LED flash, Burst Mode, and Slow-Mo video capture mode, so perhaps Apple will also bring further parity in those areas upon launching the new Air.

While today’s report does not mention Touch ID, we’re expecting the new Air’s main selling point to be the addition of a fingerprint scanner in the Home button. As Apple launches iOS 8 with new Touch ID APIs for developers, Apple will want to spread the technology across its high-end device lineup.

On the other sides of the iPad line, Apple is also working on a new iPad mini with similar upgrades as well as a larger model with split-screen app multitasking. We’re expecting at least the new Air and Mini to hit sometime this fall, but the launch timeframe on the larger “Pro” model is not as clear.

Perhaps indicating that the new iPad Air and Mini models are hitting the marketplace sooner rather than later, the devices are already seeing some significant discounts from big name retailers. 

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34 Responses to “New iPad Air with same design, 8MP rear camera, and more efficient A8 chip enters production this month”

  1. dcj001 says:

    “1.2 megapixels to 1.5 megapixels. That’s a small jump on paper”

    Actually, Mark, the increase amounts to 25% more megapixels.

  2. tobaayegoro says:

    Reblogged this on constantgist and commented:
    new ipad

  3. Tim Jr. says:

    Lots of a assumptions. Such as iPad Pro… Multiscreen.. (blah.. ) You know what they say about that? When you assume…..

  4. And 2GB of RAM.

    We can only hope.

  5. I’d look for much more Secure Enclave storage than in the A7, to support multiple users. Maybe we’ll see multiple user profiles, too, when iOS 8 is released.

  6. I don’t need more megapixels, for the iPad I’d like it to just reduce weight. More Megapixels need a bigger battery which makes it heavier. iPhone does need better battery.

  7. irelandjnr says:

    What about a laminated display on the iPad Air 2?

  8. Reblogged this on Taste of Apple and commented:
    Sounds about right. This year is all about the iPhone and “iWatch”. The iPad will gain updated specs, but since the design was updated recently it will likely be a while until the next one.

  9. This is a disappointment as it suggest that the iPad mini will keep the same design as well. IMO they need to cut the humongous bezels in half all round.

    • irelandjnr says:

      The bezels, which are not at all humungous, are there to hold. They could get rid of them completely if they wanted to, but it would be a worse product design-wise, and the battery would additionally have to be smaller.

      • @ irelandjnr: I didn’t say get rid of them entirely, I said that they should/could be smaller. As long as the top and bottom bezels are there to enable picking it up, the side bezels only really have to be large enough so you can hold it in one hand.

        On the original iPad this could be done with about a quarter of the width or less, on the new narrower bezels, it’s about half or less. This is my opinion of course, but I do work with hundreds of iPads and hundreds of iPad users on a daily basis and have since the very first iPad, so it’s an “informed opinion” based on years of daily, constant use and years of helping others with their iPads on a daily basis.

        In my (informed) opinion, the current side bezels could easily be half the size, making the iPad mini far more comfortable for one handed use. As of now, I find it very awkward to hold it in one hand, and I have very large hands.

        @tallest skil: Please stop responding to my posts with your non sequitor nonsense. I don’t like responding to bullies like you (except now of course) who have nothing but insults to spew. Why you aren’t banned form commenting on every site on the internet is beyond me. Why don’t you go outside and step on some ants or hit some children or something. That seems more your style.

      • ikir says:

        @Mr. Grey (@mister_grey)
        Indeed Tallest Skil is just saying you’re wrong. And she/he is right about it :)

  10. ” … next iPhone’s far thinner body …” That’s a huge chunk of hyperbole right there.

    “It’s a bit thinner” would be more accurate.

  11. grnbills says:

    With the new iPhone 6 and iPad Air 2 coming out I better sell my old iPhone and iPad before the value of it drops. I usually search 8-13 different sites to find the best offer, but I just found this site that compares all the buyback companies in one spot. it’s called http://www.recomhub.com It’s like Kayak but for Apple Devices that show you all the offers in one spot. I’ve used it before and loved it. I highly suggest it to other Apple lovers

  12. The only shortcoming of the current version is RAM, Safari crashes almost as often as on the first generation iPad running iOS 5, I found it disappointing. The cameras are more than enough for an iPad, seriously, and the A7 is great (they even found it difficult to find an app which could demo its power when they introduced it) until some new useful app comes out that needs more power, it will be enough. Apart from the RAM issue, it is one if the best apple products I’ve had.

  13. I am guessing the multi-tasking will be a “new product only” feature to help sell new ipads. =(

    • ikir says:

      Surely it will need more resources (RAM and CPU), so it will work on latest or just newer device. But sure whiners will say they do this just to sell the new ones,,, but forgot to add that Apple is the only to update iOS for a old device even for 4 years instead 6 months as many tablet makers. But hey whining is a life style.

  14. baerok says:

    They will. 1GB isn’t enough for 64-bit.

  15. alvinguzman says:

    Agree on the memory but the fact they will be supporting the 4s and the 5th Gen Ipod means that developers will continue to target 512 RAM devices for awhile – and besides Safari there is very little demanding 2G in the platform..

  16. Bob Smogango says:

    Do you have 100% guarantee on that? “Mid Cycle” What do you mean by “mid cycle”? They aren’t going to release the thing until later this fall and that’s 1 year from last year’s announcement. There are some higher end apps that could really benefit from the increased RAM. Auria by WaveMachineLabs is one of many. There are other “pro” level apps that really use an increased amount of RAM.

  17. “Apple isn’t staffed by morons.”

    So you don’t work there. Thanks for clearing that up.

  18. baerok says:

    “They’re not going to be telling people “The iPad Air can update to iOS 9, but only if you bought your iPad Air after 6/16/2014.”

    iPad 3 and 4 won’t be supported for the same period of time. It will also happen with first and second generation iPad Air. 2014 Air will be supported at least 1 year longer than 2013 version. If they will be announcing iOS X.X they will put the slide saying “iPad 4th generation and later” or “iPad Air 2014 and later”. They do that all the time with Macs and iPod Touches. You better stop embarrassing yourself.

  19. Bob Smogango says:

    If you have a 100% confirmation, that conjures up all kinds of possibilities as to how you obtained that tidbit of information, it’s a shame, because I was hoping they were this year so I can upgrade my iPad 4 because I just see a big enough reason last year and was hoping they’d wake up on this. I have problems running certain apps together and I have to constantly clear out the apps because of running out of memory, so I will either just limp along until they do, begrudgingly, It’s kind of embarrassing to have some strange come up to me and tell me their Samsung has 2GB and they paid less money, but I get that reaction when I’m out and around with my iPad, but at least I can retort back that at least I use my iPad because when they ask me, I don’t see them using their Samsung. But, I would rather not get hassled about it.

  20. baerok says:

    You should practice reading and check what word “example” mean.